Wednesday Mashup (4/24/13)

  • Trying to sneak in some items I couldn’t quite get to yesterday – this tells us the following:

    RNC Chairman Reince Priebus blasted the Democratic National Committee for a new website that collects personal information as part of a “thank you note” to the first responders of last week’s Boston Marathon bombing.

    In a tweet posted Monday afternoon, Priebus charges that Democrats are using the note to gather names and contact information for future fundraising asks (sic).

    Can you smell the desperation from their side yet, people? They’ve been attacking Obama ever since January 21, 2009 in an effort to find ANYTHING that looks remotely like the legitimate scandal they would eternally cherish…and they’re coming up absolutely empty (or something that could be associated with him somehow, however tangentially in this case).

    And accusing the Dems of trying to make money off of terrorism is particularly pathetic coming from the Repugs, seeing as how they have exploited TERRA! TERRA! TERRA! for fundraising purposes in Montana (here) and Minnesota (here)…they’ve probably done it all over this country, but those are the only specific locations I can find at the moment. And as noted here (from a Boston Herald story), a “GOP fundraising insider” was accused of transferring a not-insignificant amount of dough to a “terrorist camp” over six years ago…the story was met with a collective yawn by our bought-and-paid-for corporate media.

    Actually, given the Repugs and their hatred of public sector employees (you know, people with “dumb” jobs like police, firefighters and teachers) and the fact that some of them acted in typically heroic fashion after the Boston Marathon attack, it wouldn’t surprise me to find out that the Obama folks are trying to set up a job bank for them in the event that some of them end up losing their jobs due to the “sequester” (in which Man Tan Boehner infamously claimed that he got 98 percent of what he wanted, let’s not forget).

  • Next, I give you the following from former Bushie Michael Gerson of the WaPo here (keeping with the bombing a bit)…

    Over the past several decades, traditional forms of Islam have been challenged by radical variants, which often latch onto ethnic and tribal resentments. Disaffected, angry young men can be particularly receptive, causing turmoil in families, mosques, regions and countries.

    In our country, such radicalism is rare — a tribute to America’s special superpower of assimilation…

    It’s probably a “tribute,” once again, to the courageous men and women of law enforcement in this country (harking back a bit to the prior item).

    I don’t draw a differentiation between radical Islamists and home-grown terrorists; they’re both, at heart, cowards who primarily want to frighten us into giving up our liberties. And unfortunately, they’ve been more successful than they should have been (and that comment is aimed at both of our major political parties, as well as the rest of us).

    Gerson is waaay too cagey to admit this, but the plain fact is that, going back over the last 20 years at least, right-wing extremism has flourished while a Democrat has resided in An Oval Office as opposed to a Republican, as Mark Potok of the Southern Poverty Law Center points out here with statistics to back up that claim (the wretched economy isn’t helping one bit…and yes, I know there’s another reason why Obama is detested by organizations largely composed of racists – I don’t need to spell that out, do I?),

    As Potok points out…

    There were 149 of these (“Patriot” militia) groups in 2008, by our count. That number as of 2012 was 1,360. That’s 813% growth in four years.

    The way to combat this is through calm vigilance, determination, and adherence to the rule of law (also, the next time one of these numbskulls claims that “Obama wants to take our guns,” we could try to patiently explain that, assuming that were even possible and he had a wish to do it, don’t you think he would have done it by now?). Besides, it’s not as if incidents of terror and bombings are exactly new to this country, as noted here (Rachel Maddow talked about this last night).

    We’ll leave any notions of a “superpower of assimilation” (sounds like something out of DC/Action Comics) to Gerson and the equally clueless horde of Beltway bloviators (and on the subject of the Boston bombings, I thought this was interesting…also, the next time anyone is quick to blame Muslim extremism, it might be a good idea to read this).

  • Finally, I should note the departure of a true hero, and that would be Bob Edgar; this reminds us that he was a former U.S. House Representative, head of Common Cause, and a United Methodist minister.

    It should also be pointed out that he definitely wasn’t a Democratic Party ideologue under any stretch of the imagination; as noted here, he once drew comparisons to the Vietnam and Iraq wars, and he was arrested here when he, along with a group of peaceful protestors, knelt and prayed in the Capitol Rotunda for increased social services funding (We can’t have that in the “age of austerity,” now can we? And more’s the pity that there wasn’t more of a religious presence from other denominations.).

    As former head of Common Cause, Edgar once called out conservative lawyer James Bopp, Jr. for channeling millions of dollars into the 2010 midterm elections here (and we know how that turned out – last bullet). Also, here is a link to some of Edgar’s prior appearances on the Democracy Now! program.

    When I think of people who have helped to inform my political opinion over the course of my life, I immediately think of individuals like Molly Ivins, David Sirota, Gene Lyons, Mark Shields, and precious few politicians, particularly of the present era. Bob Edgar is the utterly rare exception.

    I can’t recall an individual whose convictions in his public and private life remained as steadfast as those of Bob Edgar. We as a nation and a people are better for his service; the challenge is now left up to us to fill the sizeable void created by his passing through our own selfless acts on behalf of the ever-growing numbers of our countrymen in need.

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